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Bodenheimer Lecture featuring Khiara Bridges, Berkeley Law

Wednesday October 20, 2021

King Hall, Room 1001
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM


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presented as part of the UC Davis Law Racial Justice Speaker Series

"Family Law of the Poor"

This talk will examine the dual system of family law in the US. It observes that the US has a set of laws that regulates more affluent families and an entirely distinct set of laws that regulates poor families. Moreover, the family law for the poor is uniquely punitive. This talk offers that the dual system of family law, and the brutal nature of family law for the poor, can be explained in terms of the moral construction of poverty—the idea that poverty is a result of an individual’s shortcomings. This talk proposes that the moral construction of poverty offers a unique framework through which to view and critique the family law for the poor.

Khiara M. Bridges is a professor of law at UC Berkeley School of Law. She has written many articles concerning race, class, reproductive rights, and the intersection of the three. Her scholarship has appeared or will soon appear in the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, the California Law Review, the NYU Law Review, and the Virginia Law Review, among others. She is also the author of three books: Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization (2011), The Poverty of Privacy Rights (2017), and Critical Race Theory: A Primer (2019). She is a coeditor of a reproductive justice book series that is published under the imprint of the University of California Press.

She graduated as valedictorian from Spelman College, receiving her degree in three years. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her Ph.D., with distinction, from Columbia University’s Department of Anthropology. While in law school, she was a member of the Columbia Law Review and a Kent Scholar.

King Hall's Racial Justice Speaker Series

As protests over police brutality and systemic racism have swept the nation, UC Davis School of Law has reaffirmed its longtime commitment to racial justice. Throughout 2021-22, the law school is offering a Racial Justice Speaker Series examining some of the most urgent issues facing our nation and world today.

The series has gathered leading voices on civil rights, criminal justice, and civic and governmental responsibility. The goals are to inform, enlighten, and -- most important -- engage in meaningful conversation with our King Hall community and the larger public.

Co-sponsored by the Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies

** In-person event is only open to UC Davis Law students, faculty, staff, and invited guests only from the public. COVID-19 Daily Symptom Survey and face covering will be required to attend. More about events guidelines. If you plan to attend in-person as an outside guest, you will be required to show your vaccination card. Acceptable formats include the original paper card, a photo of the original paper card, or a digital record of vaccination.

For more information, please contact Onell Berrios at